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Understanding Animal Totems

In order to understand what animal Totems aka Animal Spirit Guides are you must first understand that every living being on the planet, be it human, plant, insect, or animal, possesses spiritual energy in the form of a soul. With that understanding, I am going to talk about what animal spirit guides are, and how they can help you.

What are Animal Spirit Guides?

Animal Spirit Guides

Animal spirit guides are also called animal totems, or power animals, and Native Americans were the first to recognize the power of animal spirit guides. They were the first people to pay tribute to them. To establish a link to the spiritual world, ancient Native Americans would imitate animals in ceremonial rituals and dances.

When you were born, one or more animal spirit guides have been assigned to you. Animal spirit guides act much in the same way as a guardian angel does. Their main purpose is to provide you with a sense of alliance, guidance, protection, advice, and the power to overcome any obstacles that you may encounter during your mortal life.

Some animal guides stay with you through the course of your life, while others may just be occasional visitors. Your animal spirit guides can help you through life’s challenges.

Animal guides are grouped by their habitat. For example, there are land animal guides that represent how grounded you are, physically and emotionally, and they are linked to your vigilance and intuition.

Bird spirit guides symbolize your strengths, along with your desires for freedom. They play an important role in helping you achieve a higher spiritual consciousness.

Water animal guides connect you to your spiritual self and reveal your innermost fears and desires. Reptile spirit guides allow you to adapt to a changing environment, and assist you in being independent. Insect spirit animals help you to become patient, persistent, and determined.

How Animal Guides Help You

Animal spirit guides each have very specific purposes to play in your life.

  • They can provide support and comfort in times of despair.

  • They will be there when you feel alone and need a companion to talk to.

  • They will guide you to make the correct decision when you are unsure

  • They will protect you when you are feeling afraid or vulnerable.

  • They will use their wisdom to teach you great life lessons.

  • They will provide clarity when a situation seems ambiguous.

  • They will send you inspiration in times of mental blocks.

  • They will heal your spirit when you are low.

The 4 Types of Animal Spirit Guides

There are four types of animal spirit guides that are symbolic of the four seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

1. The Messenger Animal Guide

This guide comes into your life when there is a message to be delivered. Once the message has been passed on, this guide leaves. These messages can be spiritual in nature, or they could be a warning or wake-up call.

2. The Shadow Animal Guide

A shadow guide is extremely powerful and comes to you to urge you to change certain areas of life that need a metamorphosis. The usually do this by representing an inner fear, and they will continue to appear to you unless you make positive changes in your life.

3. The Journey Animal Guide

A journey guide will appear to you when you need to make a tough decision. It will help you decide which course of life would be more beneficial to the overall growth and development of your spiritual self. If you are lost, your journey guide is sure to bring you back on track. They will remain by your side for days, weeks, months, or even years. They will remain with you as long as it takes to complete your journey.

4. Life Animal Guide

A life animal guide is one that comes into your life the day you were born and stays with you until your mortal journey ends. It symbolizes your inner spiritual self and will connect you with your strengths and capabilities. You can have one or more life animal guides, and they will serve as a mediator between your spiritual world and physical world.

How Do I Find My Animal Guide?

Many people believe that finding your spirit guide requires you to be Native American or go on a Spirit Walk, this however is not the case.

There are actually many options for people to find their spirit guide. One method is to look up a Native American Zodiac. The zodiac will show you what animal falls under your birth date. However, this does not mean that the animal for your birth date is your spirit guide, but often times it will be an animal that represents you fairly well.

Another way to find your spirit guide is through your dreams. Do you dream often of a certain animal? Is there an animal that has always frightened you, but been intriguing to you at the same time? Most often the animal that you're most fearful of will bring you closest to nature. When you dream of an animal, it is your animal guide calling you.

Take walks out in nature. Observe the animals around you. Being in nature is one of the greatest ways to find your spirit guide because the whole purpose behind a spirit guide is to provide you with a deeper connection to Mother Earth.

Look at various animals and try to find which ones seem to suit you best. Don't forget the aquatic animals, as well as insects and birds, they count too! There are so many amazing animals out in the world that you should have no problem finding your spirit guide.

Contacting your Animal Spirit Guides

You do not choose your animal spirit guide. Your animal guide chooses you. Here are a few techniques you can use have your animal spirit guide reveal itself to you.


Relaxing your mind, and calming your mental activity, puts you in a receptive state where you can call on your animal spirit guide for assistance. As you awaken your spiritual consciousness, your animal spirit can more easily establish contact with you.

• Dreams

Many animal spirit guides manifest themselves in your dreams. Keep a dream journal and write down your dreams. Try looking for repeating patterns such as dreaming frequently about one particular animal. This is a sign that this is your animal spirit guide.

• Look for Signs

Their signs are everywhere, once you understand how to recognize them. For example, do you find yourself gravitating towards a particular animal? What animal has always fascinated you? Does the same animal often seem to pop up everywhere – on the TV, in a book, in your dreams, etc? These are some of the signs that show that your animal spirit guide is trying to make itself known to you.

It is important to honor your animal spirit guides, thank them for the gifts they have given you, and acknowledge their help and guidance in your life. You can honor them by decorating your home with memorabilia dedicated to your animal spirit guide, or you could help protect and preserve the habitat in which they live. By honoring your animal spirit guides, you establish an even deeper connection with them.

When you discover what your animal spirit guides are you will never find yourself alone again. As you come to comprehend the true meaning of Animal Totems and the role they play in your life, you will find that they will always be there, walking beside you in even the toughest of time.

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Laura Zibalese

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